Insight
Dec 17, 2015


Chronicles of a parisian Brand Strategist in San Francisco

The Californian “NO-branding”

San Francisco, city of revolutions, birthplace of new social models, new trends turned mainstream or more recently of the world’s first global commitment on emissions from the Zero Waste city… This was all it took for brands to also enter the fray. The change is now and it’s here, far from the agenda of Old Europe...

At the heart of this city which is continually questioning the future of usage and social norms, brands have no choice but to offer products that chime with these values and new attributes. From mass market goods to niche products, there is no escaping the fact that the No is king! There isn’t a single product without some kind of No- label or other…

In the list of usual suspects we have NO-toxins: no parabens, no artificial fragrance, no oil or no artificial flavours or preservatives or even no GM. In the healthiest city in the US, NO-nutrition means everyone can have a say when it comes to their own dietary aspirations and can opt for no gluten, no milk, no refined sugar, no hydrogenated fat or no allergens.

More surprising still has been the emergence of a new type of category that questions a brand’s production methods or moral compass, the NO-clean conscience. We were all aware of the ‘not tested on animals’ label but even more original ones are now entering the mainstream. The not imported, not more than 100 km, does not harm the planet, no industrial processing and no frustrated animals are all bold stances adopted by local brands. Some brands even go as far as making this “no” part of their branding to position themselves as alternative solutions that go against the conventional approach.

Far away from the NO-branding movement, these uses of ‘NO’ resonate like the affirmation of a potential new order. This proclamation of NO marks the start of a more responsible, transparent and involved attitude by brands. This means tangible and concrete commitments that aim to win back the trust of mistrustful consumers. Whereas in the 2000s, we were bombarded with all kinds of superlatives and additives, today it’s the less is more approach that is trying to meet the aspirations of modern consumers.

Unlike France and Europe where no and without are synonymous with taking things out, making people feel guilty and doing without, Californian design embodies a positive no which places the emphasis on taking back control in the face of a world that is slipping away and the enjoyment people have of eating products that are local/organic/healthy or for a vegan/paleo diet with a clear conscience.

So what does San Francisco have to do with all this you ask? Everything! This city, once the centre of the hippie movement, is now an open-air laboratory, where not a day goes by without a new start-up or crazy project being launched. These are open-minded, unprejudiced people who simply want to change the world. What better environment for a brand than these in vivo tests on a target that is willing to pay more for alternative offerings that are looking ahead to the society of tomorrow.

Share it !

CBA Paris

96, rue Édouard Vaillant
92300 Levallois-Perret, France
Map

+33 (0)1 40 54 09 00
Email

© 2016

All Rights Reserved

CBA is a design agency.
It is composed of a network of 13 offices located across the globe, sharing the same mindset.
Our 305 professionals work passionately everyday on projects for more than 30 countries.

CBA Global en
CBA France FR / EN
CBA UK EN
CBA Italy IT / EN
CBA Spain ES
CBA Turkey EN / TR
CBA Middle East EN
CBA Asia Pacific EN
CBA US EN
CBA Latin America EN / PT / ES

Type your search and hit return

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

First Name

Last Name

Your email

You will need to confirm your address to activate your subscription
By clicking "Subscribe" you will be agreeing to our privacy policy

Terms and conditions

LEGAL MENTIONS

This site is edited by:
CBA Paris
SASU with a capital of 1 150 000€ Euros
RCS Paris
Headquarters : 96 rue Edouard Vaillant, 92 300 Levallois-Perret, France
Tél : 01 40 54 09 00

Director of Publication : Louis Collinet

This website was developed by :
CB’A Srl
Headquarters: via Lecce 4, 20136 – Milan, Italy

The information displayed on this site concern all CBA Paris entities. These companies are referred hereafter by the name « CBA Group ».

Property rights
Copyrights

All data, text, information, images, photography, videos or any other content shared on this website are protected by copyright. Any reproduction, representation, use or adaptation, whatever the form, of all or an element of this site without the written consent of CBA group will be considered as a counterfeit act and falls under the penalties of Intellectual Property Code.

Brand copyrights
All named and logotyped brands and other distinctive signs which appear on this website are CBA group’s property and / or of their clients. Consequently, any reproduction or representation, and any use of these distinctive signs is prohibited, except with a writtent consent of their owners.

Links generation to www.cba-design.com
The website allows the set up of an hypertext link pointing towards its content, except using the technic of « deep linking », i.e the pages of www.cba-design.com should not be integrated within another website pages, but accessible through the opening of a new window.
This authorization should not apply in any case to websites displaying controversial, pornographic, or xenophobic information or which could tharm sensibility or cause public disorder.

Website editor 's responsibility
Website content :
CBA Group has attempted to ensure the accuracy and the update of the information contained on this website ; CBA Group reserves the rights to amend, at any time and without notice, the content. However, CBA group cannot guarantee the accuracy, the precision or the comprehensiveness of the information carried on this website.

Website access :
CBA group companies cannot be held liable for any incovenience or damages related to the general use of Internet, notably in case of service breakdown, external intrusion, downloaded viruses, or damages caused to the equipment or software which would be linked to the use of this website.

Links to other sites :
The site might include links to other Internet websites. Given that CBA group can’t control these sites, CBA group cannot bear the responsibility towards their contents, advertisments, products, services or any other material available on or from these websites. Moreover, CBA group cannot be held responsible for any damages or loss related to a trust relationship to the content, goods or services availables on these sites.

Privacy policy
Visitors are made aware that all personal date collected on this website are automatically processed. Data collected are kept confidential and are aimed at the exclusive use of members and services of CBA group.

These personal data fall under the dispositions of law « Informatique et Libertés » of January 6, 1978.
It is understood that the visitor is given a right of access, amendment or deletion of any personal data related to them, by sending a mail to :

CBA Fabien Godimus 96 rue Edouard Vaillant 92300 Levallois-Perret
or by sending an email to fabien.godimus@cba-design.com